Workshops and Classes

I teach the following workshops and classes–some face to face, some online, some both.

FACE TO FACE WORKSHOPS

How to Prepare for an Intensive Month of Writing – This workshop offers tips for writers planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month in November. Topics include carving out a time and place for daily writing stints; getting help and support from friends and family; practical issues such as meal planning and car pooling; and how to begin on November 1 with strategies you start in October.

Strong Story Starts – How do you make your opening pages shine? This workshop addresses the first 50 pages of a novel: how to establish setting and introduce characters; how to present a compelling story question;  how to choose POV, tone, and voice; and  how to hook a reader with good writing, appropriate action, and a meaningful theme.

The Jane Austen Writing Plan – Jane Austen wrote six unforgettable novels in her lifetime. This workshop is part inspiration, part organization and offers an Austen-inspired plan for people who have many ideas but are not sure what story to write and when to write it.

Four Truths of Characters – A hands-on workshop based on the concept that there are four true things about every person and every character. Learn to define these four elemental traits and use to them to make characters real, give them depth and keep them consistent. Bring a pen and a character.

Mastering the Art of Self-Editing – To help novelists and short story artists view their work with a sharp and critical eye via strategies to strengthen craft, style and technique. Writers will learn revision skills addressing characters and consistency; central ideas and story arcs; and the depth and relevance that capture readers.

The Writing Hour – A face to face workshop on how to make a dedicated daily writing hour part of your life. Topics include finding your most creative time of day; making the only available hour work; writing in sprints; and using a writing hour journal to plan your writing time.

Giving Good Readings – A face to face workshop that offers tips and demonstrations on how to prepare for and present a lively and effective literary reading.

Build a Writers Group – For authors wanting the critique or workshop experience, this is basic how-to look at building a group to meet your needs.

Size Matters: The Ever-Evolving Short Story – An overview of the genre, including novellas, short stories, flash fiction and micro fiction.

ONLINE WORKSHOPS

Necessary Parts -This online course helps participants prepare 4 necessary parts for submitting a manuscript: a log line, a query paragraph, a one-page summary, and a three-page synopsis.  To define these terms: the log is a one-sentence pitch. The paragraph is to be used in a query to describe a manuscript an editor or agent. The one-page summary is a story description as it would appear as jacket copy. The synopsis shares the plot essentials for the benefit of the agent/editor who would sell the idea to a publisher.

Master Class in Scene Writing – This fast-paced online course focuses on crafting strong and effective scenes. Lessons include understanding scene goals; scene planning; using a scene checklist; scene types (action, dialogue, romance/sex, contemplative, fight, etc.); and scene openings and closings. The coursework will include writing scenes from prompts and from existing work. A completed manuscript is not necessary but pre-written scenes may be used for some exercises.

Master Class in Story Arcs -This online course examines story and character arcs in short stories, standalones, and book series. Topics: plot points to create tension; set pieces to deliver depth and emotion; subtext; origin stories from comic books; archetypes from mythology; dramatic structure from plays and screenwriting; and the hero/heroine’s external and internal journeys. It is not necessary to have a completed manuscript for this course. Assignments will be taken from your own work, with a few original or borrowed examples.

Mastering the Art of Self-Editing (online) – To help novelists and short story artists view their work with a sharp and critical eye via strategies to strengthen craft, style and technique. Writers will learn revision skills addressing characters and consistency; central ideas and story arcs; and the depth and relevance that capture readers.

Plotting and Structuring a Novel – This online workshop is devoted to examining the presentation of the story by form (structure) and the actions and events that keep the story moving (plot). Focus includes useful concepts that come in 3s: Three Act Structure, Beginning-Middle-End, Conflict-Complications-Resolution. Works for pansters as well as plotters, and hybrids who like to do both.

For more information, or to schedule a course, contact me at ramonadef@yahoo.com.

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